Well... I am glad I was wrong!!! I LOVE HER!!! Sharing the room with her, seeing her teaching, connecting with students, being 100% vulnerable reminded me that I too had to show my vulnerability and connect with my students. I always tell her that she has been a great influence in my teaching, because building relationships with students is and will always be my top 1 priority but I hadn't realized that being vulnerable needed to be part of the equation too.
I set really high expectations for my students and that ok... I want them to achieve greatness and I am tough, I want to get them there... but I also need to connect, be flexible, open myself up to them so they can trust me. I hope every teacher out there knows that students perform better when they trust their teacher and when they seek their respect and admiration. When I was student, those teachers who impacted my life more in a positive way, were those who I admired and I trusted. I want to be that kind of teacher, and Ria reminds me of that all the time, not by telling me but by showing me.
I am very grateful to have her.. she is such an special person and she gets me.. I know she has my back and we are connected in a way far beyond just being coworkers. Not too long ago I had a very sh**** day and I was feeling down, not wanting to do anything and out of nowhere I get a text message saying there is something for me waiting at my door. Ria had sent me cookies for Christmas!! It was something so small, but so meaningful... a token of appreciation that I will never forget... and she made me feel loved in a moment when I wasn't feeling joy in my life.
I am truly blessed with the people I have in my life, but especially with my two BFFs at work (and in life) that challenge me - in different ways - to be a better person every day.. and support me in every way, even when they have no idea what is going on in my life.
I hope you all have someone like that in your life too... It really makes a big difference; we all need a support system that is there for us unconditionally.